The Arkansas Travelers offer an abundance of great promotions for the fans throughout the summer -- there is certainly no lack in the amount of cool schwag to take home and special guests to see at every home stand.
Promotions are great to attract casual fans and even non-fans at one of the 69 games during the next five months, but there is one game that should be treated with a certain reverence and be the lone night that is tailored specifically to the baseball fan -- opening day.
Opening day is not just another game. It is on the level of being some kind of holiday that needs as much pomp and pageantry as can be fit in one stadium.
It needs VIPs throwing out the first pitch and celebrities singing the national anthem. It needs a nod to history. It needs flyovers. It needs bunting. It needs a contribution from the parent club. Whatever it needs, it needs to be special.
That said, I was disappointed with opening day at Dickey-Stephens Park last season. It felt like just another game.
What the Travs need on April 14 is a megastar singing the national anthem, and the highest-profile person they can come up with to throw out the opening pitch.
All over the country, "American Idol" performers are showing up at baseball games singing the national anthem. Central Arkansas is lucky to have an actual winner in Kris Allen, a natural to draw enough attention to put this game on the pedestal it deserves.
Or what about Amy Lee from Evanescence, R&B superstar Ne-Yo, country music's Tracy Lawrence, soul legend Al Green, Hall of Famer Glen Campbell? Maybe these names sound out of reach, but that is what opening day is about -- dreaming big.
And to throw out the first pitch? If you can't get a legendary former player such as Lou Brock or Brooks Robinson, go for the biggest name available: Mike Anderson, Billy Bob Thornton (he would do it), Mary Steenburgen (also would do it), John Daly, Darren McFadden, the list goes on.
I know, easier said than done. Who or what do you want out of opening day?
-- Travelerocity reporter